Protesters Swarm Charlotte Streets As Police Defend Fatal Shooting of Black Man
Protesters swarmed the streets of Charlotte Tuesday night in the wake of a fatal police shooting of a black man in the city.
Hundreds gathered following the death of Keith Lamont Scott, who was shot by a black officer who says he believed the 43-year-old father of seven was an armed threat to officers.
Scott was reportedly inside a car outside a Charlotte apartment complex when police responded to a call about a suspect there. Scott was not the suspect, but officers say they saw him get out of the car holding a gun.
Cops say he then got back in the car then got out again while still holding the gun. It was then when officers deemed him a threat and Scott was killed, according to the Associated Press.
The Charlotte mayor's office identified the officer who killed Scott as Brentley Vinson, who is black.
As several hundred gathered to protest Scott's killing overnight, authorities used tear gas to disperse protesters in a chaotic scene that blocked roads and reportedly left about a dozen officers injured.
News footage showed demonstrators swarming a police vehicle and what appeared to be the looting of trucks on Interstate 85 as protestors set fire to the contents.
As demonstrators vented their frustrations in the streets, local police portrayed some who joined the crowed as aggressors on social media.
"A number of agitators have joined demonstrators," the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department tweeted. "Agitators destroying marked police units. CEU continues to work to restore order and protect our community,"
Police said that one of the injured among them was hit in the face with a rock.
The crowds were eventually dispersed with the help of tear gas. By 5 a.m. no protesters remained in sight and I-85 was moving again.